Sports games often get a bad wrap, thanks to the abusive monetization used by companies like Electronic Arts and 2K. Today’s roundup forgoes the blatant money grabs on mobile to offer something a little different. We’ve chosen the best Android games that are actually worth playing, with a hand-picked list of sports titles that offer fair pricing and gameplay built for fun. So if you love sports games but are tired of the yearly roster wipes after sinking tons of money into your digital teams, Android Police has the perfect roundup for you. Dig in and enjoy!
I figured why not start today’s list with a banger, and so Football Manager 2022 is here to kick things off with its excellent soccer management gameplay. Unlike other soccer games, this is more of a business sim where you’ll build your team from the ground up to see if you can take the top spot. This game offers simulation-like gameplay that requires strategy and planning. Keep in mind this is the mobile version of the game, so it is somewhat stripped down compared to the console and PC releases.
This premium game typically retails for $10, though some in-app purchases are included. Luckily, these IAPs only go so high, where purchases primarily exist for convenience items. Seeing that Football Manager 2022 Mobile is a single-player game, what you choose to spend won’t affect anyone else. More or less, this is a game with deep mechanics, fair monetization, and enjoyable gameplay. Best of all, it controls well on mobile.
If you prefer something a little more old school or are simply looking to relive your days playing Tecmo Bowl, you should definitely check out Retro Bowl. This game offers similar 8-bit graphics, but what sets it apart is strategic gameplay and team management, offering more depth than its inspiration.
The game is free, with a credit system in play. You’ll upgrade certain features, like your stadium or training facilities, and in-app purchases are included, with a $0.99 unlock for unlimited gameplay. Also, there are optional credit packs for those looking to advance quickly. Still, seeing that this is a single-player game, what players spend won’t affect anyone else. So as far as fairly-priced mobile football games go, Retro Bowl is easily a top contender thanks to its deceptively deep gameplay and fair pricing model.
Believe it or not, Virtua Tennis Challenge dates back to 2012 as a mobile release and was brought back to life as a Sega Forever game in 2017. You might not know it, but Sega used to hammer out quality tennis games back in the day. Virtua Tennis Challenge is the culmination of that effort, seeing that it’s the last game in the series. So, you can expect polished gameplay, and even though the game is old, the graphics are plenty good enough.
Now, Virtua Tennis Challenge does offer touch controls, and they work fine in a pinch. However, the game absolutely shines when playing with a controller, so it’s the way to go if you have one handy. Like all Sega Forever titles, you can play the entire game free with ads. If you’d like to remove the ads, you can do so for $2. For a full-fledged tennis game that offers multiple modes to play through, ranging from singles to doubles, you can’t go wrong with this one.
Grand Mountain Adventure
I’ve been beating my drum over Grand Mountain Adventure for years now. Seeing that the game was recently released on consoles and PC, mobile is still a perfectly viable platform to play the game if you’ve yet to check it out. It’s great in bite-sized bursts, thanks to its short challenges. Plus, controller support means you sit down for extended sessions, just like a proper console game. The graphics are on point, there is a ton of content to explore spread across several mountains, and you can even play with friends locally across devices.
The first mountain is free, and if you like what you see, you can unlock the full title for $10.99, including all the extra mountains added previously as DLC. Since the game retails on PC and consoles for $20, you’re still getting quite the deal on mobile, especially when controller support is packed in.
There are tons of golf games on Android, ranging from Hot Shots knock-offs filled with awful monetization to minimal games that are tough as nails. OK Golf sits somewhere in the middle, offering arcade-like gameplay spread across a wide selection of low-poly courses. This isn’t putt-putt; it is full-fledged courses with simple controls just about anyone can pick up within a few minutes. Essentially, it’s a stylish game built for fun instead of maximum profit, which is how it easily stands out in the crowd.
OK Golf is a premium release that retails for $2.99, and there are no in-app purchases or advertisements. Thanks to the simple graphics, just about any device can run it, and with simple controls, just about anyone can play it. It’s an accessible title that suits mobile well. If you’re big into golf games, it’s a must-play for sure.
Bottom of the 9th
When you think of board games, one of the last genres you’d think of would be sports. Yet, Bottom of the 9th is not only a well-reviewed physical board game that dates back to 2015, but it’s also a digital mobile game that goes by the same name. This interpretation is easily one of the better baseball games on the Play Store, thanks to fair pricing and time-tested gameplay. And don’t let the fact that this was originally a board game scare you away; the mechanics are taught through a Spring Training tutorial for batting and pitching, so all bases are covered.
What’s great is that you don’t have to jump into multiplayer immediately. The game has a solo play mode that you can familiarize yourself with before taking on live opponents. The gameplay is limited to two players if you want to battle your friends, so this is less a party game and more something two people can enjoy together. Best of all, this is a premium release that clocks in at $1, which is cheap enough that just about anyone can afford it. Pair that pricing with accessible gameplay, and you have a winner.
Even fishing games aren’t free from the greedy grips of endless monetization. Even though there are endless fishing games to choose from, if you’re looking for something with depth that isn’t some quirky arcade game, your pickings are slim. Thankfully, Rapala Fishing is a quality contender that offers a variety of fishing locales along with all manner of fish to catch. The 3D graphics are pleasing, the controls are intuitive, and gameplay isn’t restricted, even if you’re a free player.
Of course, Rapala Fishing is a free-to-play game, so it does contain in-app purchases, though its only use is for purchasing in-game currency. You can use this currency to speed up your advancement, but it’s optional. The game is easily enjoyed for free, though there will be more of a grind. Still, fishing is all about the peaceful grind, so this one that’s easily enjoyed in your downtime when relaxing.
Hoop League Tactics
Sports management games are all the rage, thanks to the wild success of Sega’s Football Manager series. If soccer isn’t your bag, then perhaps basketball is. Hoop League Tactics offers a mix of genres with SRPG’s tactical gameplay and the mechanics of a management sim. Not to mention the gameplay of a typical basketball game. It’s got it all, baby, with simple graphics that can run on just about any phone, making for a highly accessible basketball game that should appeal to a wide audience.
There’s a season mode as well as a career mode. With season mode, you’re running the entire team, while career mode is more of a personal journey for a single player. You can play for free, but if you’d like full team customization, along with imports and exports of custom leagues, then you can plunk down $4 for premium mode. Premium also removes the game’s advertisements. Think of this release as a mix of chess and basketball, and you’re getting close, with the option to go premium if you like what you see.
This is the end of Android Police’s sports game roundup. We chose an eclectic mix of titles to cover everyone’s needs, all while ensuring the games offer tons of fun without being designed to suck up money, so if you know of any sports games that would fit on such a list, sound off in the comments as we will be updating this roundup with new listings to grow the selection for everyone.
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